This morning I found myself going through various files on my Surface in anticipation of upgrading it to Windows 10.
I wrote a draft of this post on the fifth of August 2014; with the exception of the Paris Plages story (and the lack of a mention of overcrowding on the metro; the RER A is currently shut down between Auber and La défense, so the M1 is a nightmare), the contents are still largely relevant.
I obviously can’t speak for the entirety of France, but in Paris, August marks the French diaspora:
-Where before, I had noticed a significant uptick in the amount of non-French that was being spoken in the subway and the city, I’ve now come to the realization that Parisians really do abandon the city to the tourists  for the entire month;
-There is a noticeable dearth of businesspersons (or any persons, at least compared to normal levels) on my morning train in to work;
-The afternoon train home is effectively composed solely of tourists ;
-Scores  of the normal businesses in our area are shut down;
-Nights are markedly quieter ;
-I’m pretty sure that we’re the last ones in our apartment building ;
-Were I to be here for another August , I would get the hell out of dodge.
 Speaking of which, we actually witnessed a pickpocketing on Sunday while we were at the Paris Plages. Two girls working in a “sign this petition” team apparently didn’t quite understand that they were supposed to work as a team, with one of them distracting the victim. Instead, one of them simply reached into an open purse and picked what we assume to be a wallet. The owner of said purse squeaked, thus prompting her companion to chase and then grab the girl’s wrist and start yelling at her. Lousy pickpocket number two started yelling at the guy to let lousy pickpocket number two go. A security guard was walking up as we cleared the scene, so we weren’t party to the final outcome of this particular disturbance; while we were both in running clothes and thus had nothing of value on us but our house keys, it’s known that the caravan-dwellers travel in packs (confirmed by the presence of at least one instance of the infamous three-shell-game within spitting distance), so we were disinclined to gawk.
 headed to the Eiffel Tower and completely confused about what one should do when one exits a metro train (hint: standing right in front of the train doors and then moving to block the exit doors while lowing is not the correct answer)
 (or what feels like scores), all with little notes taped up noting that they’ll be back at the end of the month
 fortunately for everyone involved (as the French don’t believe in air conditioners), the nights have been Albuquerque-like in that the temperature drops nearly 20 degrees F, so our bedroom windows are effectively always open. As such, I’m comfortable in making sweeping observations regarding night time noise, though I will admit that the Purrito, who doesn’t sleep with earplugs, is likely more qualified to
 aside from the gardienne, her cat (our name for the cat: trash cat. The cat’s name: Gucci), and the neighbor that seems to be drilling holes in his walls
 important subconditional: and were I to be statutorily entitled to five weeks of vacation